Banana Chocolate Quinoa Bars
Granola bars are an obvious addition to a packed lunch—they’re portable, energy-boosting and kid-approved. But so many store-bought bars are little more than candy. These not-too-sweet bars are winners when it comes to taste and nutrition.— Ceri Marsh, author of The School Year Survival Cookbook
Sub in almond or peanut butter if these beauties aren’t heading to school.
- 3 super-ripe bananas
- 3 Tablespoons sunflower butter
- 1/4 Cup brown rice syrup or corn syrup
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- 3 Cups oats
- 1 Cup quinoa
- 1/2 Cup chocolate chips (I use half choc chips and half cacao nibs)
- 1/4 Cup chocolate chips (optional for drizzle)
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil (optional for drizzle)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 13- by 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on each long side to help you lift your bars out later.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or with an electric mixer, beat the bananas, sunflower butter, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon and salt until it’s a nice creamy consistency.
In a large bowl, toss together the oats, quinoa and chocolate chips. Shake the dry ingredients into the bowl of banana mixture. Stir with the mixer until everything is completely combined. You may need to stop to scrape down the edges of the bowl. Turn everything out of the bowl and into the baking pan.
Spread the batter so it goes right to the edges of the pan. Smooth the top using a spatula.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden. Allow it to cool completely before applying the drizzle.
In a small saucepan, heat the remaining chocolate chips and coconut oil over very low heat, stirring now and then, until they melt. Pop the sauce in the fridge for a moment to firm slightly. Use a small spoon or spatula to drizzle chocolate over your bars. Lift the bars from the pan and cut into 18 pieces.
Store in an airtight container in a cool spot for up to 1 week. Just before packing them into a lunch, wrap them in plastic wrap or parchment paper to keep the chocolate from coming off.
Recipe excerpted with permission from The School Year Survival Cookbook by Laura Keogh and Ceri Marsh (Random House, 2017)